This Miracle Mineral May Save Your Life

Pumpkin seeds
Pumpkin seeds (© Zensu | Dreamstime Stock Photos & Stock Free Images)

What is not a drug but more powerful than drugs in many ways? What is the go-to treatment at hospitals in many emergency situations, such as heart failure? What mineral has an astoundingly long list of more than 3,500 medical conditions that are related to its deficiency? Meet your new best friend: magnesium, the miracle mineral.

It is sadly ironic that such a vital yet inexpensive mineral—which used to come to us from the dirt in which our food was raised—is now causing tremendous problems. By conservative standards of measurement (blood or serum magnesium levels), 65 percent of people admitted to the intensive care unit today have a magnesium deficiency.

Sources of magnesium are whole grains, greens, nuts and seeds; however, the soil where these are grown is becoming depleted of magnesium and so these foods do not have nearly as much magnesium as they did 50 years ago.

This problem is only compounded by today’s highly processed diet that is based mostly on white flour, meat and dairy (all of which have no magnesium). In other words, many of us receive practically no magnesium from what we eat.

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This is further complicated by the fact that magnesium is often poorly absorbed and easily lost from our bodies. To properly absorb magnesium, we need a lot of it in our diet.

Yet our lifestyles are conspiring against us to drain our bodies of what little magnesium we do ingest. Our magnesium levels are being further decreased by stress, excess salt, coffee, phosphoric acid in sodas, alcohol, profuse sweating, chronic diarrhea, excessive menstruation, diuretics (water pills), antibiotics and other medicines.

Perhaps a recent scientific review of magnesium in Medical Hypotheses said it best: “It is highly regrettable that the deficiency of such an inexpensive, low-toxicity nutrient results in diseases that cause incalculable suffering and expense throughout the world.”

So, now that you have met your new best friend, what should you do? Try these three simple things.

1. Stop draining yourself of magnesium. Cut back on coffee, colas, salt, sugar and alcohol. Ask your physician if any of your medications could be causing magnesium loss. (Many high blood pressure drugs or diuretics cause loss of magnesium.)

2. Eat foods high in magnesium. Start including these natural sources of magnesium in your diet as often as you can: wheat bran, wheat germ, almonds, cashews, kelp, buckwheat, brazil nuts, dulse, filberts, millet, pecans, walnuts, rye, tofu, soy beans, brown rice, figs, dates, collard greens, shrimp, avocado, parsley, beans, barley, dandelion greens and garlic.

3. Take magnesium supplements. Most people will benefit from 400 to 1,000 mg a day, and the most absorbable forms are magnesium citrate, glycinate taurate and aspartate. Be sure to avoid magnesium carbonate, sulfate, gluconate and oxide. They are poorly absorbed (but are the cheapest and therefore the most common forms found in supplements).

Foods Highest in Magnesium:
1. Squash/pumpkin seeds: 535 mg per 100 grams
2. Flaxseed: 392 mg per 100 grams
3. Almonds: 286 mg per 100 grams
4. Cashews: 273 mg per 100 grams

Don Colbert, M.D., is board certified in family practice and in anti-aging medicine. He also has received extensive training in nutritional and preventive medicine, and he has helped millions of people discover the joy of living in divine health.

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